Constitution of the State of Utah

Taken from the Utah Road to Statehood See also modifications
PREAMBLE Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we, the people of Utah, in order to secure and perpetuate the principles of free government, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION.



Section 1. [Inherent and inalienable rights.] All men have the inherent and inalienable right to enjoy and defend their lives and liberties; to acquire, possess and protect property; to worship according to the dictates of their consciences; to assemble peaceably, protest against wrongs, and petition for redress of grievances; to communicate freely their thoughts and opinions, being responsible for the abuse of that right.

Sec. 2. [All political power inherent in the people.] All political power is inherent in the people; and all free governments are founded on their authority for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform their government as the public welfare may require.

Sec. 3. [Utah inseparable from the Union.] The State of Utah is an inseparable part of the Federal Union and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.

Sec. 4. [Religious liberty.] The rights of conscience shall never be infringed. The State shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust or for any vote at any election; nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror on account of religious belief or the absence thereof. There shall be no union of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State or interfere with its functions. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or for the support of any ecclesiastical establishment. No property qualification shall be required of any person to vote, or hold office, except as provided in this Constitution.

Sec. 5. [Habeas corpus.] The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety requires it.

Sec. 6. [Right to bear arms.] The people have the right to bear arms for their security and defense, but the Legislature may regulate the exercise of this right by law.

Sec. 7. [Due process of law.] No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

Sec. 8. [Offenses bailable.] All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption strong.

Sec. 9. [Excessive bail and fines. Cruel punishments.] Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed; nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted. Persons arrested or imprisoned shall not be treated with unnecessary rigor.

Sec. 10. [Trial by jury.] In capital cases the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. In courts of general jurisdiction, except in capital cases, a jury shall consist of eight jurors. In courts of inferior jurisdiction a jury shall consist of four jurors. In criminal cases the verdict shall be unanimous. In civil cases three-fourths of the jurors may find a verdict. A jury in civil cases shall be waived unless demanded.

Sec. 11. [Courts open. Redress of injuries.] All courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done to him in his person, property or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, which shall be administered without denial or unnecessary delay; and no person shall be barred from prosecuting or defending before any tribunal in this State, by himself or counsel, any civil cause to which he is a party.

Sec. 12. [Rights of accused persons.] In criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a copy thereof, to testify in his own behalf, to be confronted by the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his own behalf, to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed, and the right to appeal in all cases. In no instance shall any accused person, before final judgment, be compelled to advance money or fees to secure the rights herein guaranteed. The accused shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; a wife shall not be compelled to testify against her husband, nor a husband against his wife, nor shall any person be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.

Sec. 13. [Prosecution by information or indictment. Grand jury.] Offenses heretofore required to be prosecuted by indictment, shall be prosecuted by information after examination and commitment by a magistrate, unless the examination be waived by the accused with the consent of the State, or by indictment, with or without such examination and commitment. The grand jury shall consist of seven persons, five of whom must concur to find an indictment; but no grand jury shall be drawn or summoned unless in the opinion of the judge of the district, public interest demands it.

Sec. 14. [Unreasonable searches forbidden. Issuance of warrant.] The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.

Sec. 15. [Freedom of speech and of the press. Libel.] No law shall be passed to abridge or restrain the freedom of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions for libel the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.

Sec. 16. [No imprisonment for debt. Exception.] There shall be no imprisonment for debt except in cases of absconding debtors.

Sec. 17. [Elections to be free. Soldiers voting.] All elections shall be free, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage. Soldiers, in time of war, may vote at their post of duty, in or out of the State, under regulations to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 18. [Attainder. Ex post facto laws. Impairing contracts.] No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

Sec. 19. [Treason defined. Proof.] Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies or in giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act.

Sec. 20. [Military subordinate to the civil power.] The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power, and no soldier in time of peace, shall be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war except in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 21. [Slavery forbidden.] Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within this State.

Sec. 22. [Private property for public use.] Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation.

Sec. 23. [Irrevocable franchises forbidden.] No law shall be passed granting irrevocably any franchise, privilege or immunity.

Sec. 24. [Uniform operation of laws.] All laws of a general nature shall have uniform operation.

Sec. 25. [Rights retained by people.] This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.

Sec. 26. [Provisions mandatory and prohibitory.] The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory and prohibitory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.

Sec. 27. [Fundamental rights.] Frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual rights and the perpetuity of free government.

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